I have to think the Wonderlic Test is one of the most useless assessments of NFL draft picks. Can it be amusing to hear the scores? Oh, absolutely. Everyone gets a chuckle every time some top prospect puts up a single digit score, but I hope the teams aren’t putting too much emphasis on this score. The big Wonderlic news this year was Alabama QB Greg McElroy scored 48/50 on the test, which is one of the highest scores ever. The story went on to say that his score could be a detriment for McElroy because some coaches would be intimidated by a player who is that smart. The underlying argument is that NFL people like “dumb” players because they are easier to control? I wouldn’t want McElroy because he has garbage QB skills in terms of the NFL game. I don’t care if he got a 4, an 8 or a 48. My main problem with the test, though, is don’t you think you can get a basic handle on someone’s intelligence during a five-minute conversation?
There’s an article in the last Golf World I received about equipment optimization. Equipment is very important in some ways, but in others it isn’t important at all. There have been massive leaps forward in golf technology in recent years. The biggest advances for the everyday player have come in the golf ball (free yardage) and probably the driver (much harder to literally miss). The idea of optimization is that you customize everything for your swing. It’s not getting the newest driver, it’s getting that driver with the correct loft, shaft, etc. and then pairing it with the correct golf ball. This will, in theory, give you the best results in terms of distance and consistency.
I’d say the biggest problem with optimization for the average player is that they have trouble making a consistent golf swing. It sounds funny, but most amateur players don’t have a repeatable swing, or even a couple different types of swing in their arsenal. Think about your misses. Are they all the same? Do you miss it all over the place? I often make the joke about my own golf game, “no two ball flights are the same.” Funny, but not entirely false, either. So, when optimizing, are you optimizing for your dream swing? Optimizing to get the most out of all your misses? Of course, this doesn’t even address the fact that many guys working the launch monitor are probably about as reliable as your typical snake oil salesman.
The bottom line is, golf requires a tremendous amount of honesty with yourself. Is optimization really holding you back? Or is your golf swing garbage? Do you struggle to break 90 because you can’t hit it that well, or because you take 38 putts and 16 chips per round? There are differences, many of which can’t be fixed by equipment. But, you should be playing the most forgiving clubs you can visually tolerate, you probably should have a driver made within the last few years, and a wedge that has some grooves. Those are the basics. I’d say you are a candidate for optimization if any of the following are true:
- You are a single digit handicap
- Your driver and 3-wood go the same distance
- You hit everything very high
- You are in denial
- You hit everything very low
- Your driver goes the same distance it did pre-ProV1
- Your wedges spin too much/too little
- You have pro shop credit
- Your 3/4/5 and 6 irons all go the same distance
- You are freakishly tall/short or wide.